Who celebrates a city’s birthday? Romans! Courtesy of Rafella of the VCN group…
21 April is the 2,763rd anniversary of the legendary founding of Rome by Romulus in 753 BC.
The city is marking the occasion with a program of events over several days, including free guided tours of archaeological sites and monuments, lectures, historical re-enactments with the Gruppo Storico Romano and music performances. The celebrations culminate in a sound and light performance on 21 April in Piazza del Popolo at 22.00 followed by fireworks on the Pincio at 23.00.
Other highlights include the evening opening of the Capitoline Museums and the temporary exhibition L’Età della Conquista on 21 April from 20.00-24.00 and the launch by the city council of the Permanent Council for Dignity, Forgiveness and Reconciliation, which will assist governments, institutions and communities in their peace-building efforts through dialogue.
The legend of the founding of Rome has been handed down by the first-century BC historian Marcus Terentius Varro, who based his account on a date established by his close friend, the astrologer, mathematician and philosopher Lucius Taruntius Firmanus. Recent archaeological discoveries, in particular those made by Professor Andrea Carandini on the Palatine hill, seem to support the legend.
Rome’s birthday has been marked every year since 1870, with a more recent focus on the capital’s vocation as a place of peace and meeting of cultures.
Let it be noted that I didn’t see any of these festivities but, ho hum, I suppose they did indeed go on.
In more exciting birthday news, I’m obsessed with looking forward to Phoebe’s upcoming birthday party. I am thinking picnic in Villa Borghese–French vinaigrette potato salad, feta wrapped in prosciutto, steak sandwiches, fruit and of course cake–with balloons and lots of these…